Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Video: Ehab Abouheif and Taner Edis on Evolution and Islam

by Salman Hameed

In October 2009, we had organized an international conference on Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World at Hampshire College. One of the public sessions included presentations by evolutionary biologist, Ehab Abouheif and physicist Taner Edis (he is also the author of An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam). They have different takes on Islam and evolution. Ehab is a practicing evolutionary biologist and believes that the two are compatible, while Taner believes that evolution poses serious challenges, at least to the traditional forms of religion, including Islam. If you are looking for name calling and mud-slinging, you won't find it here. This is a perfect example of people having disagreements about religion and having an intelligent conversation about it. It may also answer some questions you might have on the topic, or raise more. The good thing is the spectrum of opinions from people who agree on the basic principles of science.

Here is the main session followed by Q & A:

Ehab Abouheif & Taner Edis on Evolution and Islam from evolutionandislam on Vimeo.


Hampshire College | Night QA Panel Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World from Hampshire TV on Vimeo.

8 comments:

Aurangzeb said...

Is there a plan to do a follow up on this?

usman said...

nice website

Salman Hameed said...

Aurangzeb,

We do have plans to have a follow up in a couple of years. Much has happened since 2009, and so we are looking forward to the next one.

Anonymous said...

Salman, http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/op-will-surely-deliver-lets-just-wait.jpg. ;)

Salman Hameed said...

Anon,

I hope it won't be that long :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't doubt that. :)

Aurangzeb said...

Looking forward to the next one as well.

Asad M said...

Very good discussion by both gentlemen. I wonder why is it that most (but not all) physicists and evolutionary biologists end up renouncing their religious beliefs or the concept of a super-natural deity while others simply find no conflict between science and religion.

Evolution certainly leaves little room for a micro-managing God. When you have a generally conservative mind-set and upbringing, which many Muslims do have, it is harder to reconcile scientific facts with your faith. If they cannot resolve this conflict, many find it easier to stick to their religion and eventually denounce Darwinian evolution.

It boils down to how you interpret your faith; if your interpretation is not dogmatic and you have an open mind then you see no discord between science and religion.